Rangers kept the pressure on Celtic at the top of the SPL with four second-half goals at Tynecastle.
Fernando Ricksen scored twice, skipper Barry Ferguson was on the mark with a penalty and Stephen Hughes completed the rout in injury-time.
The home side had to play for more than half an hour with ten men after defender Alan Maybury was sent off for two bookable offences.
Hearts had the first serious attempt at goal after 12 minutes when Neil MacFarlane won the ball for Phil Stamp but the midfielderÂ’s shot did not cause Stefan Klos too much concern.
Shota Arveladze should have put Rangers ahead three minutes later when Mikel Arteta put him clear but Roddy McKenzie stood firm to block his shot.
Hearts made life difficult for Rangers by crowding the midfield but the home side was guilty of giving the ball away too often and rarely threatened to score themselves in a tight first half.
Lorenzo Amoruso had an opportunity in the 27th minute from a Neil McCann cross but he arrived late at the back post and bundled his shot into the side-netting.
Rangers stepped up the pressure towards the interval and Hearts had a narrow escape in the 34th minute.
Ricksen brought a wonderful save from McKenzie with a right-foot shot and then pounced on the loose ball to cross for Neil McCann but the wingerÂ’s header was cleared off the line by Andy Webster.
McCann came close again shortly afterwards with a diving header which was just too high with Hearts again looking vulnerable at the back.
Kevin McKenna responded for Hearts with a long-range shot which Klos gathered at the second attempt but it was goalless at half-time.
Arveladze almost broke the deadlock two minutes after the break as he raced onto a through ball from Ronald de Boer but his lob found only the top of the net.
The goal duly arrived in the 52nd minute when Alan Maybury was caught in possession and, when Arthur NumanÂ’s cross was headed out by McKenna, Ricksen shot home with the aid of a deflection.
Hearts had McKenzie to thank for keeping the score down as he saved from Arveladze and de Boer but Ferguson shot home the second from the penalty spot in the 79th minute after Michael Mols had been fouled by Austin McCann and, two minutes later, Ricksen headed in the third.
Substitute Hughes added the fourth in injury-time with a low shot into the corner of the net